Household Support Fund

About our service

Funded by the UK government, the Household Support Fund scheme supports vulnerable Kent households in need of help with significantly rising living costs.

You can apply until 31 March 2023, or until the budget is spent.

If your application is successful, we will provide support by the end of March 2023 in the form of a £100 Post Office cash-out voucher, to be used to pay for energy costs within your household.

There is a limited amount of funding available for this scheme and funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis, with only one award per household.

Our Household Support Fund scheme does not require banking details to provide support and we will never request this information over the telephone. If you receive any calls requesting this information, claiming to be from a local council, please be vigilant and follow the advice below:

  • Report the call to Action Fraud.
  • Contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 for advice if you need it.
  • Alert your bank if you have already given out your bank details.

If you need immediate assistance, check the other places to get help section below for further advice.

You will be eligible for assistance if you:

  • are aged 16 or over
  • are a Kent resident, permanently living within one of the 12 local authorities covered by Kent County Council (this excludes Medway, Bexley, or Bromley)
  • are in receipt of means tested benefits, or your household income is less than £30,000 per annum before tax
  • do not have more than £250 in savings
  • do not receive free school meals support for any child within your household
  • have not received any of the following:
    • £650 Cost of Living Payment (paid in two instalments
    • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
    • £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment Winter Fuel Payment 2022/23.

Apply

Apply for the Household Support Fund

If you have already submitted an application, one of our assessment officers will contact you as soon as possible.

If you need immediate assistance, check the other places to get help section for further advice.

Appeal a decision

If we have declined your application within the last 7 days and you feel the decision should be reviewed, you can appeal in the following ways:

If you have an account

Log in and appeal against a declined application

If you don't have an account

Appeal against a declined application using our online form

Receiving your voucher

You will receive the £100 in the form of a Post Office 'cash-out' voucher. Your voucher will be sent by text or email depending on what option you selected within the application. If you do not have a mobile phone or access to an email account, your voucher will be posted.

The text message will not contain any links or attachments and will say: Post Office Payout Voucher xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxx for £100. Please take this text message to any Post Office branch.

If you are expecting a voucher but haven't received it, check your spam and junk folders. If it still hasn't been received, call us on 03000 414141 or
email householdsupportfund@kent.gov.uk.

Redeeming your voucher

You can redeem your voucher at a Post Office of your choice.

When you go to the Post Office to redeem your voucher, you will need to show:

  • your text message, email or letter
  • some identification such as your driving licence or passport and a utility bill. The identification and utility bill must be in the name of the voucher recipient. If someone else is supporting you in redeeming the voucher, they will need to take your identification and utility bill, and will be required to present their own identification as well.

Voucher expiry

The voucher will expire 30 days from the issue date. Please redeem your voucher for the full amount as soon as possible as we are unable to reissue vouchers once they have expired.

If we cannot offer help or you need more help, you can try the following:

Food

You can try your local food banks or the Salvation Army. If you have children under 5, you can also try your local children's centre for both food and clothes.

Clothes and furniture

You can try the Salvation Army, Freecycle, Gumtree, local Facebook selling pages or your local charity shops. If you have a social worker involved with you or your family, they may look into trying Family Fund with you.

Power and utilities

Speak to your provider first to see if they can offer emergency credit. The British Gas Energy Trust may be able to help, or the Salvation Army.

Energy efficiency or heating grants

Utility company schemes

If you are in receipt of a pension, disabled or chronically sick, have a long-term health condition, are in a vulnerable situation, have a hearing or visual impairment, or other additional communication needs, you could be eligible to join the priority services register. The register allows you advance notice of power cuts, priority support in an emergency and more. Contact your energy supplier to sign up to the priority services register.

Support with energy arrears or debt

Find out whether your energy provider can offer you some help:

Financial advice

  • Citizens Advice can help you check for any benefits or financial support to help you with energy bills or allow for you to make energy improvements to your home.
  • Energy Saving Trust has lots of information about how to save energy at home and some financial advice.
  • Turn2us is a national charity providing financial support to help people get back on track. You can access a benefits calculator and grant search to find charitable funds you may be eligible for.

Other assistance

Support if debt is affecting your mental health

The Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (MHCBS) service can provide protection to those suffering a mental health crisis who are struggling with debt.

If you have any further concerns or questions about your application or voucher, or if any of your details have changed since you applied, call us on 03000 414141 or email householdsupportfund@kent.gov.uk.